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Islam in America: Whither and Where by Yasir Qadhi

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Shaykh Yasir Qadhi gave this speech at IlmFest 2008 in New York hosted by AlMaghrib Institute’s Qabeelat Tayyabah. Those who attended in New York loved it! Check it out here.


Like what you see? Hit up www.Ilmcast.com and you’ll find more awesome speeches from AlMaghrib Institute instructors and the ability to subscribe to them via iTunes!

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SaqibSaab is an average Desi Muslim guy living in Chicago. He enjoys videography and design as side hobbies, and helps out with AlMaghrib Institute in Chicago, Wasat Studios, and other projects here and there. His go-around vehicle is a 2007 Volkswagen Jetta 5-speed Wolfburg Edition. Originally born in Michigan, he and his wife reside in Chicagoland with his parents who come from Bangalore, India. He blogs personally at SaqibSaab.com.

25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. AlBaraa

    May 4, 2008 at 1:29 PM

    After having listened to the lecture a couple times already and having been to IlmFest, a question that comes to my mind is…

    You know now where you’re coming from. Question is…where are you now going?

  2. Sharif

    May 4, 2008 at 2:51 PM

    That was awesome! Extremely informative and enlightening.

  3. Dawud Israel

    May 4, 2008 at 3:46 PM

    Is this podcasted?

  4. AlBaraa

    May 4, 2008 at 6:11 PM

    you can subscribe to the podcast via the ilmcast.com website.

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  6. Traveller

    May 4, 2008 at 6:56 PM

    Asalaamu Alaykum,
    It is very interesting to see that the discourse has ‘changed direction’ of late, and i often wonder at the parallels that the Muslim community in the UK can draw. There are many people now voicing the need for the perception of Islam to be modified according to the Western context of the muslim minority communities but what is disturbing is that the people who are most vocal on this matter, and who appear to be spearheading this campaign want more than fiqhi modification. Who is in control?

    A very good talk Sh. Yasir, and i like the academic tone to it, as it makes the audience base more broader. May Allah bless you.
    Wassalam

  7. AlBaraa

    May 4, 2008 at 8:18 PM

    Are there many lectures or studies of Islam in the UK and its history?

  8. fastaqim.blogspot.com

    May 4, 2008 at 9:27 PM

    If anyone wants it on youtube, here it is: http://youtube.com/watch?v=rdxSWwWDwT8

  9. Abdul-Alim

    May 5, 2008 at 6:21 AM

    Assalamu Alaykum,
    I’ve always respected your knowledge and learned a great deal from your CD’s, books, lectures on the internet. Being High School student of the ’60’s, we (Black students) fought and evenually won African American History Classes in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s. I’ve attended a few of these classes in High School and the University level and at each level the first chapter of every book taught about the Mali, Songhay, and Ghana Empires. Most African Americans are direct descendants of West Africa in which these Empires where from. Mansa Musa was one of the Mali Empires greatest kings. Durning his hijji he give away so much gold (Zakat) between Mali – Cairo – Mecca that gold was devalued in that area for a decade or more. From Mecca he brought this best architets there to build the many Masjids and the University of Timbuktu. The king before him had sent a navy of about 400 ships to this new world but I believe only one returned. Mansa Musa wanted to do better, and when he became king he sent his nephew with a greater navy to establish trade with the indigenous people of the so-called New World. Christoher Columbus alluded to this in his diary and said when he was going, the Africans where come back across the Atlantic. The European Orientalist have been suppressing African and African American history since the beginning. The Orientalist do not have the right to label our history as theories. We as African Americans and African American Muslims have the scholars to define our own selfs. As Malcolm X said “Just as a tree without roots is dead, a people without history or cultural roots also becomes a dead people.” I am not saying that one race is better than another. We are all Muslims and I truly believe that in Islam we should be all equal. What I am saying is that African American Muslims have a direct link to the history of African Muslims, that has just as much Islamic scholarship and contributed to civilalization as much as anyone in the world. It is not what the Orientalist says about this history, but what Ibn Battuta, Iman Abdullah Hakim Quick, Dr. Sherman A. Jackson, Aminah Beverly McCloud, and Sulayman Nyang amongst others say.

    Wassalam,
    Abdul-Alim

  10. Abdul-Alim

    May 5, 2008 at 7:59 AM

    I enjoyed listening to rest of the tape. ALLAHU AKBAR

  11. Traveller

    May 5, 2008 at 9:46 AM

    AlBaraa said:
    Are there many lectures or studies of Islam in the UK and its history?

    Overall, not many lectures are covering this aspect at all, however there is a minority of lectures, or rather ‘seminars’ that have been conducted from one place to another that do shed some light on this. As has been mentioned before, the question is that once we have taken the historical context into account, how do we mould it into a future? Unfortunatley, people on the bandwagon of ‘reviving Islam according to the Western Andalusian roots’ are often extreme progressives (not in terms of wanting progression, rather shedding as much of the aspects of Islam that they deem is backward compared to the society), and they pander to government efforts in trying to create a pro-secular pliant Islam. Apparently these guys want to ‘capture the spirit of Islam’, and that funnily enough is achieved through disobeying Allah in the aspects that we cannot ‘rationalise’ or appear backwards.

    Alhamdulillah these people are a minority yet, but if the mainstream do not begin to interact and discuss this issue, then it may seem to many that it is the ‘moderate way’, and everything else is extreme.

    Wassalaam

  12. Traveller

    May 5, 2008 at 9:47 AM

    @AlBaraa: Overall, not many lectures are covering this aspect at all, however there is a minority of lectures, or rather ‘seminars’ that have been conducted from one place to another that do shed some light on this. As has been mentioned before, the question is that once we have taken the historical context into account, how do we mould it into a future? Unfortunatley, people on the bandwagon of ‘reviving Islam according to the Western Andalusian roots’ are often extreme progressives (not in terms of wanting progression, rather shedding as much of the aspects of Islam that they deem is backward compared to the society), and they pander to government efforts in trying to create a pro-secular pliant Islam. Apparently these guys want to ‘capture the spirit of Islam’, and that funnily enough is achieved through disobeying Allah in the aspects that we cannot ‘rationalise’ or appear backwards.

    Alhamdulillah these people are a minority yet, but if the mainstream do not begin to interact and discuss this issue, then it may seem to many that it is the ‘moderate way’, and everything else is extreme.

    Wassalaam

  13. Traveller

    May 5, 2008 at 9:51 AM

    Afwan for the double post, and ah yes, this post too :)

  14. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    May 5, 2008 at 11:06 AM

    bismillah. mashaAllah, a very informative lecture. jazak Allah khayr!

    so many Muslims over the past few centuries. so many different experiences. if there is an epilogue to this lecture, i hope it focuses on what characteristics were common among those American Muslims who held fast to their faith and who were able to pass it on to their children. what can we learn from them? how can we be more like them, and less like those who lost their own faith or whose children only have vague stories of it.

    from what i could discern, it seems that knowledge of Islam was key. Shaykh Waleed teaches a class called Torchbearers — can anyone doubt that the faqih of that Georgian community of freed slaves was a torchbearer? or the hafidh who wrote three full mushafs by hand from memory?

    true, accurate knowledge of Islam made up for every shortcoming, mashaAllah.

    for example, while nationalism and ethic identity may have been the catalysts that gave the Nation of Islam a step up on other movements, wasn’t it the light of knowledge that freed the Nation? mashaAllah, la quwwata illa billah.

    we worry as Muslims about our place in this society. about whether our voices are heard. about what will become of us. but the way to security, to self-preservation, and to success has to be a way paved with knowledge.

  15. Dr. Sadaf Sheikh

    May 5, 2008 at 1:56 PM

    Salam Alaikum,

    Jazakum Allaahu Khayran for posting this very interesting and informative lecture. Is by some chance some one could post another lecture delievered by Sh. Yasir Qadhi on the second day of Ilmfest, in sha Allaah that will be great.

    Title of that lecture was “Towards Forming a Muslim-American Identity”

    Another on wish list is Imam Siraj’s Muslim in America: My Story

    Jazakum Allahu Khyran

    Wassalam,

    Sadaf

  16. Abdul-Alim

    May 5, 2008 at 2:31 PM

    Assalamu Alaykum,
    I totality agree. Before 9-11 there was effort to build an Islamic University (Crescent University) outside of New York that was to teach Medicine, Law, Engineering, History,the Sciences along with degrees in Islamic and Arabic Studies. This was to revival the Ivory League Universities in the States and the Islamic Universities overseas. I believe that here in the United States, muslims have the scholarship to do it. If Historical Black Colleges can start right after slavery, with little of nothing, I believe that muslims united can do the same here in the states. Insha-Allah, if this generation is unable to take this torch, then we should a least motive, inspire, and do dua’s for the next gerneration to take that torch of Islamic scholarship to the next level.

    Wassalam,
    Abdul-Alim

  17. AlBaraa

    May 5, 2008 at 2:47 PM

    Dr. Sadaf Sheikh,

    Don’t worry. The IlmFest sessions will be coming periodically. All the ones you mentioned plus more. The next one will be Sh Yaser Birjas’s Marrige crisis lecture, so stay tuned — http://www.ilmcast.com

  18. Ibrahim Siddiq

    May 6, 2008 at 3:58 AM

    Assalaam alaykum, Br. Yasir.

    Allah reward you for your efforts to galvanize the spiritual and community awareness of Muslim Americans.

    Regarding your reference to the possible early Muslim presence in North America, I believe the expedition to America from Muslim Mali was led not by Mansa Musa, but actually by his brother, Mansa Abu Bakr. From some research I had done some years ago, when Mansa Musa set out on his well-known and documented expedition to Makkah, he left his brother to rule in his stead.

    From the texts that I had read, Abu Bakr had actually dispatched an expedition to the west for exploration purposes. Apparently one ship from that expedition had returned as the captain had reported that the ships had “fallen off the edge of the earth.” The report I read alleged that Abu Bakr reportedly commission a larger expedition which he led himself to follow the same route.

    Regarding the possible interaction between Muslim seafarers and the indigenous peoples in the western Atlantic and lands, I remember reading that the early Spanish explorers, when they encountered indigenous peoples in what is now the West Indies, found coins which bore Islamic markings and dating that pre-dated the voyages of Columbus. Of course, to be honest, it would be necessary to verify whether Islamic coinage carried dates that could be verified.

    The sources that I had found referenced some German texts; I believe the scholar’s name was Leopold Weiss or something like that.

    Allah reward you and other brothers who are striving to establish the identify and foundation of Islam in contemporary America.

    Ibrahim Siddiq
    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

  19. Mezaan

    May 8, 2008 at 3:16 AM

    Wilmot Blyden is never quoted to have become a muslim. Can you provide proof of his affirmation to Islam. He was a director of a mohammedan school, but should that be enough to declare someone to be a muslim? He has criticised Christians, talked about the Jews, and Muslims, but I am yet to come across a more clear evidence of his conversion. Did he have offspring that confirm this conversion etc. ? Jazakallah

  20. SaqibSaab

    May 8, 2008 at 11:07 AM

    I got a chance to listen to it, alhumdulillah. This lecture is awesome; very informative and a really nice overview of the past 500 years. I thought it was going to be another motivational one, but it was much more of a like a mini-history lesson.

    It was shocking to hear all those accounts of African Muslims from late 1800s. And how their grandchildren would recall their reilgious practices.

    Hehe, it was funny to hear YQ speak out, “They wuh very praticulah about duh way dey pray”.

    Shaykh Yasir, if you ever do a professional recording on this subject, we should definitely have a sister with an African American accent come and provide some voice acting talent. It would add some real “flava” to the topic and drive the history home even further. 8)

  21. Muhammed Alamgir

    May 9, 2008 at 2:35 PM

    AlBaraa said:
    Are there many lectures or studies of Islam in the UK and its history?

    As salamu alaykum,

    I’m a man who enjoys his Islamic history and Ustadh Yasir Qadhi’s Lecture was great.

    Brother Belal asked about studies or lectures of Islam in the UK, it so happens that i’m going to embark on a big project with the help of Belal, Insha’Allah. How so? Why, through messagemastery.com of course! My summer project is to make a series of short films documenting Islam in Wales, UK (UK consists of England, Wales, Scotland & N Ireland?). I’ll be taking the Past-Present-Future approach in my documentary, bi idnillahi ta’ala.

    May Allah make our intentions pure and put barakah into our efforts. Ameen.

  22. AlBaraa

    May 9, 2008 at 3:38 PM

    Awesome mashaAllah! — Can’t wait to see the result of your efforts in the end!

  23. mezaan

    May 9, 2008 at 4:48 PM

    Salam

    To Br. Muhammed Alamgir

    Are you planning to create a video portal similar to “http://therealnews.com/web/index.php” . They’ve have a pretty good strategy in spreading information. They don’t bombard anything and everything together but break it down into some absorbable format. Also I thing your past-present-future approach will be very important in making projects more “lively” and “investigative” without the fluff.

  24. Muhammed Alamgir

    May 9, 2008 at 5:19 PM

    wa alaykum as salam my dear brother mezaan,

    I’ve not given thought to creating a video portal or anything on the marketing side of things, my focus right now is research and filming. I thought i’d post it on assiratdawah.wordpress.com and reel in the hits *smile*

    The current plan is to have an opening film ‘Islam in Wales’ which would be a general introduction. This would be followed by films on the various cities across the country ie. ‘Islam in Cardiff’, ‘Islam in Swansea’ etc. I know very little about film making that’s why I impatiently wait for messagemastery.com to get underway, Alhamdulillah. But I do think that by starting the films with historical facts with a local person narrating, followed by a tour of the present community and all that it contains, and then concluded by a short discussion on the direction that Muslim Community is heading, would provide an engaging viewing. Allahu ‘alam.

    The more I take a step back and look at this project the more I realise it’s magnitude. It’s exciting and I pray to Allah that if this project is good for me and my muslim community that He make things easy for me, make my heart pure and put barakah into this project. Ameen.

  25. Pingback: Know the History of Islam in America! « Diary of a mad muslim woman

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